September 6, 2016 @09:47

BioMed X announces the start of new research team on Oral Biofilm Disruption through continued collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation

BioMed X Innovation Center announced today the official start of a new research group established through joint crowdsourcing efforts with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. as a continuum of their original collaboration facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation in January of this year. This new group will focus on the development of novel methods for the disruption of oral biofilms. The research group is based at the BioMed X Innovation Center in Heidelberg, Germany, and will collaborate with research departments of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. in New Jersey, USA.

This research group is seeking the potential to unravel novel methods to remove bacterial biofilms from oral surfaces. Oral biofilms consist of a large variety of microorganisms embedded in a complex and robust extracellular matrix. Attached to the tooth surface these biofilms can cause plaque, a predecessor of many periodontal diseases, such as gum disease and caries. Disrupting this matrix will prevent bacteria from nesting in the oral cavity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults worldwide have periodontal diseases, often leading to pain and discomfort. About 5-10% of public health expenditure in high-income countries relates to curative dental care, a significant economic burden for the health care systems.

Using a worldwide crowdsourcing approach, BioMed X and Johnson & Johnson Innovation have jointly selected scientists from leading academic institutions around the globe to join the new research group within BioMed X’s open innovation lab. Dr. Balendu Avvaru has been appointed as the group leader of the new team, based on his outstanding track record in crystallography and microbiology at renowned research centers such as the German Cancer Research Center, CNRS in France and the Icahn School of Medicine in New York.

“We are excited to initiate this new project in the field of consumer health care together with Johnson & Johnson Innovation.” said Christian Tidona, founder and Managing Director of BioMed X. “During the last three years we have focused on a variety of different therapeutic areas together with our pharma partners. With this project we hope to demonstrate that our new innovation model also works in other market segments such as consumer care.”

About BioMed X Innovation Center

The BioMed X Innovation Center is an exciting new collaboration model at the interface between academia and industry. At our center, distinguished early career scientists recruited from all over the world jointly work on novel pre-clinical research projects in the fields of biomedicine, molecular biology, cell biology, diagnostics and bioinformatics. These interdisciplinary project teams conduct groundbreaking biomedical research in an open innovation lab facility on the campus of the University of Heidelberg, Germany. They are working under the guidance of experienced mentors from academia and industry while expanding their scientific network and receiving entrepreneurship and leadership training. Each team is typically sponsored by a corporate pharma or biotech partner of BioMed X. After a fully funded project term, successful projects are either internalized into the development pipeline of the respective pharma or biotech partner or transformed into an independent start-up company. BioMed X collaborates with pharma companies such as AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Merck KGaA and Roche.